Cars Top News

Cars and supercars top news with pictures

Monday, May 22, 2006

Volkswagen Eos starts under $28K, rises to nearly $40K

On Friday Volkswagen announced that the Eos, its showroom bound hardtop convertible, will be offered at a starting price of $27,990. For that price you'll get the four-seat convertible with its three-piece folding hardtop and integrated sunroof paired with the company's turbo 2.0L four-cylinder generating 200 horsepower. A more powerful version with a 250-hp 3.2L V6 will start much higher at $36,850.

If one feels the 2.0T offers enough grunt, a mid-model can be had for $31,065 that includes a 6-speed DSG transmission, leather appointments, automatic headlights, dual-zone "Climatronic" climate control, 12-way power driver's seat, heated front seats and washer nozzles, a windblocker, center armrest and trip computer.

The 3.2L V6 model comes with wood trim, all-season tires, a multi-function steering wheel, rainsensing wipers and satellite radio. Additional options include a 600-watt Dynaudio premium sound system with ten speakers and an amp, bi-Xenon headlights, a DVD nav system, park distance control system and 18-inch alloy wheels. Considering VW's announcement, a $40K+ Eos doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.

Spied: BMW's turbocharged 3-Series!

With BMW's pending turbocharged 3-Series on its way, Roundelphiles are in a froth over the car's potential. Fortunately, one such brand fanatic, reportedly a regular attendee of Bimmerfests, has snagged what appear to be some spyshots of the coming force-fed sport sedan. Likely to be badged the 335i, the turbo model will serve to bridge the 3-Series from the M3, with the twin-turbo, direct-injection six reportedly developing 306 hp and 295 ft-lbs. of torque.

From the looks of it, there's a well-hidden front-mounted intercooler, and as expected, the interior reveals a tachometer redlined at 7,000 rpm, all of which sounds like fun to us. The California-plated mule actually appears to be a foreign-market model, as the gauge cluster has its speedometer displaying in kilometers/hour, but the BMW faithful remain hopeful that the augmented Three will see the inside of U.S. dealerships.

Ford to take all-wheel drive lead from Subaru?

Watch out Fuji Heavy, Ford Motor Company is out to nab your claim to fame. The Detroit Free Press states that the automaker working its way toward becoming the leading producer of all-wheel-drive (AWD) cars and crossovers in the North American market. Ford says that it will offer AWD variants of the Lincoln MKZ, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, bringing its total AWD offerings to 22 vehicles and sales to 500,000 by next year.

The trick, Ford thinks, is to offer up models in the middle range of the market -- vehicles a little above entry-level, but not reaching the high cost of luxury vehicles such as BMW and Audi's AWD offerings.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Lotus will build Esprit replacement in U.K.

Lotus will build Esprit replacement in U.K.
A small sigh of relief could be heard from the U.K. auto industry Thursday when Group Lotus announced that its new mid-engined sports car would be built at the company's headquarters in Norfolk, U.K. (shown at right).

The new car replaces Lotus' discontinued high-end Esprit model, and is scheduled to begin production in 2008.

With Vauxhall downsizing its U.K. workforce and TVR shuttering its Blackpool factory amid talks of resuming production at an unspecified overseas location, there was concern that Group Lotus owner, Proton, could mandate production of the new Lotus at its Malaysian facilities.

In announcing the company's decision, newly-named CEO Mike Kimberley remarked that Lotus has made "firm future
commitments [to the Board of Directors] to improve the efficiencies and flexibilities within our manufacturing facility."

Spy Shots: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

Spy Shots: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
M3 who? Sorry BMW, you're gonna to have to equip the next M3 with more than just a 400-hp V8 if you hope to keep up with MB's upcoming C63 AMG. We've seen enough spy shots of the garden variety C-Class than we care to admit, but there's something about a car in camo sporting a 6.2L V8 producing a downright silly amount of horsepower that grabs our attention. How does 503 horses work for you? Forget about the M3, AMG is fishing for the M5 with this one.

Ford Shelby GT500s going for $20,000 over sticker!

Ford Shelby GT500s going for $20,000 over sticker!
Ford Motor hasn't even announced the MSRP for the Shelby Cobra GT500 yet, but enthusiastic buyers have already promised dealers that they will pay $20,000 more to get their hands on one.

CNN/Money reports that Ford dealers advertising on eBay Motors are asking for bids that indicate the amount over the sticker price that buyers are willing to pay, and getting bids over $20,000. The car is expected to list for around $40,000, so that means that buyers eager to get one of the early production models are willing to pony up (couldn't resist) at least $60,000.

The first units arriving at dealerships in a couple of weeks, and most dealers will only get one or two.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lexus IS 350 readies for American Le Mans Series debut

Team Lexus has been working feverishly to develop the new IS 350 racecar for the ALMS GT2 class, and it looks like they're getting closer to the start line.
According to Lexus motorsports manager Philip Gaviola, the team expects to begin testing the new car in the next few weeks, ahead of a race debut in July. That means we can likely expect the Lexus to appear either at the Grand Prix of Utah in mid-July, or at the Grand Prix of Portland at the end of the month. In any event, its unlikely that Lexus will give the nod for the team to go racing until the car is able to turn competitive lap times in testing.

As you might expect, the specs for the IS 350 GT2 are being kept under wraps, but a press release suggests a racing weight of less than 2,800 pounds, propelled by a "more than 450 hp" production-based V6. Regardless of the level of preparation, Team Lexus will face an uphill battle joining the series mid-way through the season, particularly in the very tough GT2 class, where it will face a host of Porsche GT3s, the Panoz Esperante GTLM, BMW's M3 and the very quick Ferrari F430GT. No official word yet, but expect another newcomer to join the series later in the year - rumors are rampant that BMW will field a Z4 M Coupe.

Porsche Cayman RS in the works?

According to regulars at the Nurburgring in Germany, a lightened Porsche Cayman with a rollbar and race-style seats with harnesses has been seen doing laps on the famous 14-mile course. This has led some to speculate about a new ultralight model of the Cayman that could be badged as an "RS" or "Clubsport."
The Cayman has proved its mettle with critics, but its inevitable problem is that it's too good for its own good. If any more power is pumped into the Cayman, it would likely become as fast as its more expensive big brother, the 911. As it stands, the Cayman is only a tick or two behind the venerable rear-engined offering. This is why a diet for the Cayman makes sense. If Porsche keeps the power par for the course and reduces weight by extracting amenities, the resulting Cayman could carve a niche for itself that wouldn't cannibalize the more luxurious 911's sales.

There's also the caveat that a German tuner could simply be testing new mods on the 'Ring, and we're all just full of crap.